Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

May 25, 2014

Carter women organize summer feeding program

GRAYSON — Two Carter County women want to make sure hungry children in the Grayson area have enough food to eat this summer, so they are collecting food and assembling packages to send home with the children.

They have organized an initiative they call “Feed My Sheep” modeled after a school-based program to send supplemental backpacks of food home with the area’s neediest children each weekend during the school year.

However, the program ends when the school year ends and that leaves some without enough to eat in the summer, said Sarah Everman.

Everman, who is a special education teacher at Prichard Elementary School, said she developed the idea with her friend, Rhea Bretz.

They knew about 200 children on the east end of the county receive the weekend backpacks, so they met with youth service center coordinators, and the coordinators helped them put together a list of the neediest 60 youngsters. That is how many they believe they can service to start with.

They contacted their churches and others to enlist more donors and volunteers and placed donation bins in local businesses. They also asked for and received cash donations they used to buy food.

Like the school-year backpack program, they have focused on basic, nutritious, nonperishable, easy-to-prepare foods children like.

Now they have collected enough food and are planning to assemble the packages at a packing party May 31. The event will start at 1 p.m. at the Grayson Nazarene Church and Everman said she could use more volunteers to help pack.

The plan is to pack a summer’s worth of food during the event and then send it out periodically or deliver it to children whose families don’t have transportation.

More food or financial donations also would be helpful and would allow them to feed more children, she said. Everman estimated it costs about $40 per child for a summer’s worth of food.

Everman hopes to continue the project next summer, hopefully including more children, and also during extended breaks from school.

The bins are still out; potential donors also may email Everman at feedmysheepofky@gmail.com.

She also has a Facebook page, facebook.com/feedmysheepky with information about the project and how to help.

MIKE JAMES can be reached at mjames@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2652.

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